Ethanol mandates hurt environment

28-Oct-2015

There are several problems with having Iowa kick off the presidential primary voting. One of the most serious problems is the Renewal Fuel Standard - the ethanol mandate. Because Iowa is full of corn farmers and corn farmers love ethanol (though much of their own farm equipment is exempt from the watery, destructive fuel), presidential candidates pledge their support for it and the RFS.

But there’s more and more evidence that ethanol isn’t the green fuel we hoped for. Now a team of scientists report that, on balance, ethanol has been a net negative for the environment.

“A 10-year review of the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by researchers at the University of Tennessee (UT) found that the RFS is ‘too reliant’ on corn ethanol, and the production of this biofuel is resulting in additional water and soil problems, as well as ‘hampering advancements’ in other biofuels,” the website Clean Technica reported last week. “Over the course of the last 10 years, corn ethanol has been lauded as being a bridge fuel solution that could reduce air pollution and increase national energy security in the U.S., and production of corn ethanol has gone from 4 billion gallons per year in 2005 to some 14.3 billion gallons per year in 2014.”
But corn-based ethanol hasn’t lived up to the hype.

“Corn ethanol hasn’t lived up to its promise as being a cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel choice, even after an estimated $50 billion in subsidies, in part because of some of the ‘hidden’ costs of ethanol production, and this focus on corn ethanol has lead to a stagnated advanced biofuels industry, according to researchers,” the website wrote. (by Tyler Morning Telegraph)